EPF Annual Media Grant Competition: “New Content And New Technologies”

The “Alternative Resources in Media” (ARM) program aims at enhancing and improving access to pluralistic and unbiased information in Armenia via traditional and alternative media through the use of new information technologies.

The program is jointly implemented by “Internews” (USA), EPF, the Yerevan Press Club (YPC) and the “Internews Media Support” NGO (Armenia). The program is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Goal of the Competition
The goal of the competition is to promote the creation and dissemination of alternative content through the use of the latest technologies and new means of distribution.

Produced materials should address critical developments in the social, political, economic and cultural sectors.

Creative approaches are most encouraged. Priority will be given to those proposals employing new and diverse technologies, building on new patterns of information dissemination and linking people to diverse sources of information. EPF is seeking proposals that have a clear vision of impact sustainability and synergy with the achievements of ARM projects from 2011-2012 rounds. Synergy is encouraged, but follow-up projects which repeat already funded ones will not be regarded favorably. Synergy means using/cooperating with previously funded projects (see the list at the bottom of this document).The competition will follow a two-tier approach:
– Innovative Content and Production: Preparation of innovative content on television, print, radio and online media outlets, and/or the use of multi-media platforms to make such content accessible to an audience using as diverse approaches as possible; and production of video materials – short documentary films, public service announcements, etc. Applicants should also provide proof of broadcast capacity (commitment letter from TV, popular online channels).
– Citizen Journalism: Content – video-audio information – development and dissemination via blogs, social networks, crowdsourcing and mobile technology.

Media, NGOs and individuals or groups of individuals are eligible to apply.

Proposal Requirements
The application should include one print and one electronic copy of the project proposal (either Armenian or English). The body of the proposal should not exceed 5 pages (without annexes), 12 pt font, Arial. The print copy must be certified and stamped/signed by the organization’s executive director. In the case of an individual applicant, the copy should be signed. Electronic copies of the proposal should be sent to info-epf “at” epfound. am address, with a subject line ‘Media grant competition’. Application gudelines and a budget template are enclosed with this announcement. Organizational applicants should also complete an additional GMQ form (enclosed).

Co-funding Requirement
A mimimum project co-funding committment of 25% is highly encouraged of applicants, either organizations or individuals. Contributions can be in the form of monetary resources or salaries, broadcast time, staff time, in-kind contributions, etc. Please note that other USG funding cannot be counted as co-funding.

Grant Duration and Budget
The duration of the grant projects is 6 – 12 months.  Each grant will typically range from $3,000 to $20,000

Proposal Selection Criteria
Applicants will be given a five-week period to prepare their proposals and to submit them to the Eurasia Partnership Foundation for review. All proposals received from competition applicants will be prescreened by EPF staff for completeness.
The applications will be assessed by a jury which comprises the leaders of the ARM project, USAID representative and independent experts.

The applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:
A. Preliminary criteria:
– Whether or not the project falls within the remit of RFA (relevance)
– Whether or not the applicant, organizationally, individually or as a group, has a capacity to implement the project (capacity, past background)
These two criteria will be assessed based on a two-scale assessment: Yes or No
After the application passes these two criteria, the following major criteria will be applied:
B.   Criteria for every project proposal:
– The innovation proposed
– The high importance of the idea for the current context
– The self-sufficiency of the project (i.e. whether or not there is a high likelihood that the project will have sufficient resources to continue on after funding ends; and/or has significant future funding perspectives; and/or it will have an impact by the end of the current funding, even if no future funding will be available)
– The likelihood of the project to have a significant impact
– The quality of the budget
These criteria will be assessed on a scale from one to five.
Those applications which acquire more than 50% of the score will be shortlisted.
C. The final decision on which projects will be funded will be based on the last round of voting by the Jury, which will base its decisions also on the following:
– Whether or not the geographic scope of the applicants represents a variety of locations in Armenia
– Whether or not the proposals cover a sufficient variety of new media, content, and other issues relevant for the call
– Whether or not the proposals complement each other and do not repeat each other
– Whether or not the proposals from different types of organizations (media and NGOs) as well as from individuals and/or groups had equal chances to compete

The final decision on funding will be made for those shortlisted proposals which acquire the highest score for the criteria in point B. and which pass the Jury voting based on considerations in point C.
Application and Review Information
To apply one must fill out the attached proposal form. It can also be downloaded from the Foundation’s website or a hard copy picked up at the EPF office.
Pre-competition orientation seminars will take place on November 12 and 14, at 3:00pm at the EPF office. Guidelines regarding the application process, as well as further technical clarifications will be be presented to aspirant applicants.
The deadline for submitting the completed proposal forms to the EPF office is December 12, 2012 by 5:00pm.
The Jury will review all eligible applications. Final results of the competition will be announced on December 27, 2012. The projects will be launched during February, 2013.

Grant Competition Timetable
November 5                                       announcement of the competition
November 12, 3:00PM                      pre-competition orientation seminar on “Innovative Content and Production”
November 14, 3:00PM                      pre-competition orientation seminar on “Citizen Journalism”
December 12, 5:00PM                      proposal submission deadline
December 27                                    announcement of final grant awards.

For questions regarding the “New Content and New Technologies” grant competition please contact EPF Program Managers Marina Mkhitaryan (58-60-95; x205) and Alice Ter-Ghevondian (58-60-95; x208) or email at mmkhitaryan “at” epfound. am, aterghevondian “at” epfound. am.
For questions regarding the “Alternative Resources in Media” program, please contact Program Director Manana Aslamazyan at Tel: 58-36-20, 58-60-95 or manana “at” internews. tv.
Our address:
Eurasia Partnership Foundation
56 Zarobyan Str., Yerevan 0009, Armenia
Phone: (374 10) 586095
Website: www.epfound.am

Annual Grant Competition Facts:
As part of its previous 2011 and 2012 annual grant competitions, EPF has supported 23 projects throughout the country. Successful initiatives included support to new media development in Berd and Armavir regions, promotion of multimedia journalism on A1Plus, Lragir, Alt TV, Lori TV, Tsayg TV, 168 Zham and Hetq, design of individual online initiatives like “Badu.am”, “dprocakan blog”, “ArmComedy”, Art Daily,  platforms, support to production projects like “Theory of improbability”, “Hayrenadardz.org”, Media Lab, PanMan and “WebTV.am”, as well as support to I-Report initiatives like election crowdsourcing through I-Ditord platform and citizen journalism at MyNews.